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What the migrant crisis could predict for an environmental crisis

If you follow the news, about once a week you will probably learn about how terribly executed the operations are at the U.S. Southern Border. Whether it’s coming from the Governor of Texas, leaders in other states, the media, or our international fellows, most of us could generally agree that whatever is being done isn’t quite right, even if we aren’t in the day-to-day details.

Now obviously this is a highly dynamic situation that is not 100% caused by a failure of leadership in the United States. These people are fleeing their homes for a reason, and whether it is a positive (a promise of a better life) or a negative (tyrannical leadership that is killing people) or a combination of the two, we (the U.S.) are simply trying to figure out what to do with all these folks once they get here.

Here is where the lack of leadership across the United States starts to become a problem, regardless of where you fall on the immigration issue, because it is a significant indicator on how poorly we are coordinating to ensure these people are living in safe and secure communities, a foundational principal of our Constitution.

Now even if you aren’t concerned about immigration, this should concern you at a much deeper level because the same people that are responsible for coordinating this response would be the very same people responsible for coordinating massive weather events, whether they be hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, or some other weather-related event.

Yep, those are all the same people with maybe a few changes here and there, and how unhappy are you going to be when your entire community gets wrecked due to the serious changing weather patterns that are predicted to only increase over the next several decades? Meanwhile, the government, once again, fails to do their part because they couldn’t figure out how to put their egos and arrogance aside to ensure safe and effective evacuation and/or sheltering occurs.

Since the government would be strapped for resources under a massive event, heck, even a small event at this point, are we as individuals truly prepared for the disaster that would be caused by this type of mismanagement? Are we as individuals prepared to lose our lives simply because we refused to open our eyes to the various and clear precursors but didn’t care enough to do something because we weren’t impacted then?

I get it, these are hard conversations to have, especially when we live in a system that tends to make a lot of promises of protection and safety. There are a lot of folks out there who assume that someone is going to be there when they call 911, but what happens when we are all doing it at the same time? You guessed it, it’s going to take some time to get help, and that’s if you can get it at all.

This is why preparedness is the most important stage of emergency management - it gives us the time and resources that we need to plan and consider what exactly we would need to do, which we can do by being critical of our current processes, such as the migrant crisis. Through honest and intelligent conversation, we can take a deep look at our operations and determine what we, at the individual and community levels, need to do to reduce the chaos – no politics allowed.

Now I get it, it’s an election year through infinity, and you’re going to be hard-pressed to find any politician or wannabe who is willing to say “Yeah, I’m not doing the best, but I want to do better – what can I change?”. But that IS what needs to be done to ensure that we can take these critical lessons learned and apply them to not only respond to but actually stop future disasters from occurring in the first place.

So, we can either continue to allow this level of mismanagement to run our country OR we can start expecting better of every single one of our fellow citizens, especially those who are paid to be making these decisions.

Because in a democracy it IS on each of us.

So, let’s avoid the blame game and get to work.

It’s far past time.

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